In May this year, Lawrence Nash joined TrustQuay as Programme Director, following senior operations and project roles at Ocorian and LGL Group in which he was a TrustQuay customer.
We caught up with Lawrence to ask about his background, the customer point-of-view and TrustQuay’s role in the industry…
Hi Lawrence! Our first question, what is your background before joining TrustQuay?
I originally qualified as a management accountant by trade. But I’ve worked in a variety of different industries before settling in financial services. At one time, I was a management accountant for a horse racing stud which was backed by offshore trusts, and that’s what initially brought me to Jersey 10 years ago.
That’s when I really came into TrustQuay’s area of expertise. Funnily enough, I remember when I first came through the airport in Jersey I saw an advertisement for NavOne saying it was powered by Microsoft Dynamics, which I’d already been using for 5 years at that point.
Throughout my career, I’ve always sat at the corner where finance meets operations, with a focus on representing the user. At Ocorian, I headed up strategic projects and did a lot of work supporting M&A and migrating the acquired companies onto the core platform, which was NavOne.
My last role before joining TrustQuay was at LGL Group, where I was appointed Head of Change and Transformation, looking at how to develop the company’s digitalisation pathway and roll out a wider set of features for the business.
As a former TrustQuay customer, what’s your perspective from the customer point-of-view and the challenges they are facing?
I think onboarding was always a massive challenge for us. And I have to say, just before I left LGL we had a demonstration by Suzanne Pritchard on the latest features in TrustQuay Portal and it was fantastic to see that interaction with the software. By extending out the workflow functionality, end-clients can basically now self-serve, inputting all their details, dropping in copies of their documents, with it all received straight into the software. I think this is a great step forward.
Another challenge is that firms often end up with dual systems, so you end up putting data into one and then into another, rather than collecting data once and then having it all in one place, in one core system. Then when it comes to compliance, everyone's aware of where their data sits.
Anytime data moves or processes across systems or departments, there's an opportunity to increase risk. While there are huge workflow, automation and end-client benefits to the software, ultimately work around risk and satisfying the regulator is one of the most important things.
What’s your perspective on where the corporate services, trust and alternative fund administration industry is going?
I think we’ll continue to see consolidation in the industry, with more high-profile mergers and takeovers. There will always be a place for smaller firms who can offer a high-value, differentiated offering, but I think we’ll continue to see more mid-sized firms being hoovered up by the big players.
For these firms, this will put a lot of pressure on reporting and data. Having worked on a number of M&As, they want to know exactly who the clients are, when did they acquire the relationship, how did they grow it, what are the attrition rates, etc.
Having reporting and data on all these areas is absolutely paramount when it comes to selling out to another provider or indeed looking for finance to expand, so I think there's definitely a drive across the industry for more and better reporting.
Before joining TrustQuay, what was your view of the company?
I've always been very positive, I guess, having spent 10 years using the software. It’s always been a great team to work with and always very, very busy. I think now I’m on the inside, I’m trying to give that right focus and being busy on the things where we can really add value and allow the customer to help themselves.
As a former customer, I’d been seeing a real change since the merger and formation of TrustQuay and a move from being just a software vendor to that of a trusted partner. It’s also been good to see TrustQuay hanging on tightly to some of the original values and staying true to these, as well as creating new ones to shape the future.
Finally, what’s your view on what TrustQuay has been doing on the product front?
It’s been refreshing and exciting to see the product plans and direction of travel at a recent strategy session.
In my role as Programme Director at TrustQuay, my focus is on helping customers to get the most value out of their software and supporting them to strengthen their target operating models. What I’ve already mentioned about the ability to self-service is a big one for me and I think is really useful for customers.
For example, TrustQuay Online, our new end-to-end SaaS platform has functionality that helps clients to help themselves, whether it be by taking the Out of the Box (OOTB) configuration or the tools to import data via Excel, greatly improving time to value and the all important early go-live. TrustQuay Online is also a first in making some really big features available to smaller service providers.
TrustQuay Portal is also very interesting. I think it was proved out quite nicely on the original release, but it was the upgrade in July last year that brought forward the onboarding features, two-way messaging, online forms and workflows that I think are very exciting.
Maddie is a Senior Marketing Executive at TrustQuay.